We haven’t had an eye-roller for a few days: “As extreme weather hurts more local communities and economies, voters may find it tough to back candidates who ignore, and even deny, their plight.”
Global warming could prove fatal to the GOP this November – or in the near future. Why? A large majority of Americans now say unequivocally that global warming intensified the drought, deluge and scorching heat afflicting mostly Republican-leaning states the past two years, according to a new study.
Meanwhile, Republican congressional hopefuls and Mitt Romney have hitched their election bids to climate change skepticism, siding with Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, who calls global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
But research by Yale and George Mason universities suggests Americans are now seeing that the hoax may all be on the climate change denier side. By a 2-to-1 margin, they say that U.S. weather – including heat waves, droughts and severe rainstorms – has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.
More importantly, Americans say extreme weather is adding to local hardships: crop failures, hail damage, poor air quality, forest fires.
This year’s weather could further erode voter patience with the Grand Ole Party. In March, the nation shattered more than 15,000 heat records. If these trends continue, summer heat waves and drought emergencies could have Republican candidates sweating out their electoral bids as they try to defend their belligerent climate change denial records.
Especially susceptible: Their argument that global warming will cost more to fix long term than the economic damage it is already inflicting. American commerce and communities were slammed with record economic losses due to weather disasters last year – including tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; the decimated Texas cattle herds; millions of acres of drowned farmland along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers; and the heat-scorched Southern peanut crop.